The events slowed for a period after she left the lake house. When she returned to her apartment she created a map to mark out all the locations of where she would awake. Her drinking and partying also dropped off to a nearly non-existent point. The frustration of not understanding what was happening to her caused her to push all her focus and effort into solving the problem. Her friends called often at first, but that also disapeared after repeated occasions of her declining their invitations. After a few weeks of tracking she found the places she ended up not being more than a mile and a half radius from where she slept. Her newly sedentary lifestyle proved useful in the tracking to have the same place she spent each night at. She felt confident now that she wouldn’t end up too far from home, in another city or country or in the middle of the ocean. But what worried her most was if she would someday wake up in someone else’s apartment. For the most part, she would end up in public places, hallways, alleys, etc. But if she woke up once in a jail cell, surely she could wake up anywhere. She worried that soon she might end up behind bars agian but this time for tresspassing or breaking and entering against her wishes. So it was that she worked tirelessly to try and solve the problem of stopping those incidents.
When that third night she woke up on the exact same place, she was done and ready to go back home. Before she left, Jonas wanted to see where the spot was that she kept returning to. They drove around the lake until they found that cabin near where she would awake. Jonas insisted on peaking into the cabin to see if there was anything strange about it. The inside looked normal with common furnishings and nothing out of the norm. Kitty took them to the spot where she would awake. After walking around and investigating the place they couldn’t find anything odd about it. Just a normal forest setting.
“You can see my cabin from across the lake her,” Jonas pointed out while pointing in that direction. Other than being directly across the lake, there was not anything out of place about that spot and Jonas took her back to the cabin where they said their good-byes.
Her drive back was spent in deep contemplation, frustrated with the lack of normalcy these teleportation events left her with. Through that drive she resolved to study the incidents in hopes she could get a glimmer of understanding for why it was happening.
“Late night stroll?” Jonas asked as she walked in the cabin. Kitty’s feet and pajama pant legs were caked in mud that she tracked inside and she promised to clean it up later. She did her best to explain to Jonas what happened. He still thought it sounded like she had a bad case of sleep walking. She wished it was that simple but knew it wasn’t so. When she got back it was past five in the morning and the two of them opted to remain awake and make breakfast.
That day they spent swimming and playing in the lake. Jonas also read for a few hours on the shore while Kitty cuaght up on the rest she missed while tanning in the sun. That night they warmed each other on the sofa and warmed themselves with drinks. Jonas rattled on about problems he wished he could solve at work while Kitty’s mind floated elsewhere. Later she woke up again in the woods, at the very spot she was the night before. This time she was stark naked, having fallen asleep before remembering to dress and have keys on her. She was cold and frustrated that that kept happening to her, but thankfully she knew her way back. She walked briskly in the cold night, her arms hugging herself, her teeth chattering, and her hairs standing on end. When she got back to the cabin, she washed her feet in the tub and climbed back into bed, all without Jonas noticing.
It was dark and quiet in the woods. A thin layer of dew encapsulated the cold earth. Kitty sat on the damp ground and tried not to panic. Looking around, she could see the faint orange glow of sodium vapor lamps from a few cabins on the hill side, the lights from those cabins also shone as a speckled reflection across the lake surface. Near her she spotted a cabin that looked to be unoccupied, though she wouldn’t dare knock on the door of it at such an hour. She decided to avoid the cabin altogether. The best plan of action she came to was to walk down to the lake and follow the perimeter until she found Jonas’ cabin.
Her bare feet left their path in the damp sand of the lake’s edge. The water was glassy and dark. It left Kitty with an eerie feeling which the blackness of water and the uncertainty of what lays beneath is wont to do. While walking along she felt her key chain in her pocket, having slept with them out of habit now. She realized after some time that she could press the lock button on her car keys to trigger a honk and help find her way. Soon she heard a muffled honk and saw flashing yellow lights, and she knew which cabin it was.
Jonas must have woken with the honk. He was waiting on the porch to greet her when she returned.
“Any luck?” she asked when she got down to the lake.
“A skunk of a day,” Jonas said, all while keeping his eyes on the line. Kitty sat with him at the water’s edge, silently watching the boaters and water skiers off in the distance. As the sun was getting low and its reflection disapeared from the water surface, Jonas said he was hungry, so they packed things up and went back up to the cabin.
Jonas gave Kitty a quick tour of the small home and heated up a simple dinner for them. “What do you do up here for months on end?” Kitty asked at one point in the night.
“Not much of anything, really. I’ll read, fish, swim, nap. That’s about it.”
“God I’d get bored,” Kitty said.
Jonas chuckled. “You’d be surprised at how fast the time goes doing nothing, or maybe you wouldn’t since thats what you are already doing with your life,” he prodded her in hopes to get a rise but only received a smug frown. “Like that, I am back at work,” he continued with a snap of his fingers. “You’d also be surprised how for me, months of doing nothing sets me up for a very productive nine other months.”
“Yeah, well, at least you can drink.” Kitty walked to the kitchen where Jonas had a small assortment of liquour and proceeded to mix a gin and tonic. They drank through that night, chatting on the couch and joking with eachother. Later was when the first of a few teleportation events would occur that weekend. These were slightly different than the previous ones as she woke up at the same spot each time. That night, she woke up in the middle of the forest, with no idea where she was.
The drive out to the lake house was scenic to say the least. The road weaved in and around mountains through dense pine and aspen forests. It passed by cascading hillsides with natrual snow-melt water falls pouring out from the rock faces and forming creeks down by the road. Kitty had to stop her car completely once and patiently wait for long horned rams to cross in front of her. The rams weren’t the only difficulty in getting up to the lake hosue.
When Jonas first handed her the detailed directions she almost laughed. It was always something the older generations did, when all she needed was the address to map her directions using GPS. The further she got into the mountains though, the less useful the GPS became, making mistakes and telling her to make turns that would have taken her off a cliff. So, she began to rely more and more on those written, detailed directions.
When she finally arrived she saw a little, old cabin that was a complete contrast to Jonas’ apartment. The cabin wasn’t much to boast about. It had enough space for a couple people and it looked to be in need of some serious repairs and maintenance. The wrap around porch though was the shining star of the whole place with extraordinary views out to the lake. Kitty knocked on the door with no response, so she walked around the porch. Looking down towards the lake, Kitty found Jonas down by the water.
In that loft space Jonas had a wet bar they drank freely from, under the light of the moon and the watchful hands of time. Though, time soon broke from its known principles, as it tends to when alcohol is near, and Kitty woke again in her own bed without memory of where the night went. Jonas texted her that morning saying he didn’t really understand what was so important that she had to rush from his home without her clothes. Kitty apologized, saying she didn’t remember leaving and that she would get the clothes the next time she saw him.
They did see each other a few more times that next week and a few more the following week, until it felt they were moving along at a pace that could be considered dating.
The teleportation events slowed those following weeks with only one instance when she woke up in her own bathroom and another case when she woke up in her hallway again. The time that she woke up in her hallway, she had a visitor knocking on the door shortly after she reentered her apartment. Jonas was standing in the hallway, dressed for work, holding a piece of paper. “How did you know where I lived?” Kitty asked, certain she had never told him before. Jonas only smiled and asked if he could come in. Her apartment was a nicely updated one bedroom on the middle level of an uptown mid-rise. The inside was kept dark and shut up and was relatively messy with clothes strewed about and dishes left in the sink. Jonas took a seat on top of some clothes on her couch adjacent to a bookshelf filed with seemingly unrelated items. “What’s all this?” he asked her, referring to the bookshelf.
“It’s my collection,” she responded vaguely.
Jonas nodded and got to the point of his visit. “I am about to leave this weekend for a few months. Every summer I get a cabin on a lake where I am disconnected from work, calls, emails, everything. It helps me to reset and continue being the incredible human being I am,” he explained while wearing a proud grin. “I will be out of service and won’t be able to text or call you while I am out there. But, I’d like for you to come visit. At least for a weekend .” He hander her the piece of paper, “This is the address and detailed directions to the lake house. Can I expect to see you soon?”
Kitty looked at the address on the paper, her head still occupied that cloud space that comes with recently waking. “Yeah, I’ll come up to see you sometime.” With the affirmation, Jonas told her he was looking forward to seeing her, gave her a hug and kiss goodbye and left for work.
That night they met at a dark, quiet lounge that served excellent cocktails. Kitty sincerely appologized and did her best to explain what was going on with her that week without coming across as completely crazy. Jonas listened while sipping on a scotch with lime. He didn’t really understand it all but did his best to try and believe her.
The night continued on for them and so did the drinks, enjoying each other’s company. At which point the bar was closing, Jonas invited Kitty back to his place, just a couple of blocks from that lounge. When they got to Jonas’ building, Kitty asked to take the stairs instead of the elevator. Jonas thought it was odd but went along with it.
The stairwell seemed strangely familiar to Kitty though she couldn’t quite put a finger on it. She had been up and down so many stairwells and that point in her life that they all blended together. Stairwells all look quite similar in their stark design, being fully functional with no frills. They all serve their purpose of efficiently getting people down and out of a building, hopefully safely and protected from smoke and fire. For that reason, Kitty was always comforted by the brutalist nature of those spaces.
Jonas’ apartment was a gorgeous, large, open space, minimally furnished with wide windows lending panoramic views of the entire city. The living space was lofted and the second floor loft area occupied the inside of a four-sided clock tower. The face of each clock was glass. The moon shined bright through the east clock face as the minute hand ticked by in front of it.
The attorney made quick work of the police station. When it was clear the officers had no documentation on Kitty, the threats to litigate for unlawful imprisonment amongst other things were loudly proclaimed. With the threats, the keys to the cell quickly followed.
Outside of the police station and on the drive to her apartment, the attorney spoke to Kitty and tried to convince her to pursue a suit against the police department. He explained what a simple clear cut case it would be. Kitty, though had no interest in spending any more time with attorneys or in courts and she declined to press charges. She knew her father would call to try and convince her to take on the lawsuit, which he did while she was napping that afternoon.
The events of the week left her a bit shaken up. She was in no state to go see someone she may be interested in that evening. Instead, that night called for pure obliteration with her friends.
Thankfully she woke up normally the next day in her own bed with the usual weekend headache. When she regained enough of her sanity she texted Jonas to appologize and ask for a chance to explain things. He told her that he typically isn’t one to hand out second chances but was going to make an exception. He invited her to meet up that night, just the two of them this time. She accepted.
The officer returned a short while later and called Kitty to the cell door. “It turns out I can’t find a case file on you anywhere,” the officer told her, “I’ll need you to sit tight while we sort things out.”
“What do you mean you don’t have a file on me?” Kitty asked. “Why am I here?”
“We will get it sorted,” she said. “Just hold tight.”
The officer spent much of that morning conferring with her superiors and working to figure out what to do. Clearly the department wanted to cover themeselves from any error they may have made and they worked to figure out what to do with Kitty.
Kitty was growing impatient in that dank and odorous cell. She finally realized she should be allowed a phone call, which she asked for. The officer couldn’t refuse though it was clear the call worried the officer and she was afraid things were going to blow up in her face. Kitty’s call was made to her father, the only number she had memorized. Her father listened silently while Kitty explained the situation. He thoughtfully took in the news and only said “I’ll send a lawyer right away.”
“Right away” turned out to be the next morning. Kitty spent the night in the cell trying to sleep in hopes she would wake up somewhere else. Instead she woke up to commotion coming from out in the police station bullpen. The attorney finally arrived that Friday morning.